Attorney General joins Google in $391.5 million settlement over location tracking

The Kentucky attorney general’s office has joined a coalition of 40 attorney generals in a historic $391.5 million settlement with Google over its location tracking practices and account settings. This is the largest multi-state privacy agreement reached by a coalition of attorneys general in United States history. Kentucky will receive $7,282,184.49 million from the settlement.

“Misleading customers about the collection and use of their personal location tracking information is a violation of Kentucky’s consumer protection laws,” said Attorney General Cameron. “This historic settlement awards Kentucky over $7.2 million and commits Google to adopting business practices that respect the privacy rights of its customers.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Location data is an important part of Google’s digital advertising business. Google uses the personal and behavioral data collected from users to create detailed profiles and to target users with ads on behalf of its advertisers. Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal data that Google collects. Even a limited amount of location data can reveal an individual’s identity and routines and can be used to infer personal details.

Attorneys general launched the Google probe after a 2018 Associated Press article that revealed that Google “records your movements even if you specifically tell them not to.” The article focused on two Google account settings: location history and web and app activity. Location history is “off” unless a user turns the setting on, but web and app activity, a separate account setting, is automatically “on” when users set up a Google account, including all Android users. phones.

During their investigation, the attorney general found that Google violated state consumer protection laws by misleading consumers about its location tracking practices since at least 2014.

The comparison requires Google to be more transparent to consumers about its location tracking settings. According to the comparison, Google must:

• Show users additional information when they enable or disable a location-based account setting.

• Make important location tracking information clearly visible.

• Provide users with detailed information about what types of location data Google collects and how it is used.

The comparison also limits Google’s use and storage of certain types of location information and requires more user-friendly Google account controls.

Attorney General Cameron joined the Attorneys General from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska at , Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin in settlement.

To see the comparison, visit www.ag.ky.gov.

Attorney General of Kentucky

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